Eve 6 2.0: Alt-Rockers Find Life After a Radio Hit

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In 1998, my sister bought Eve 6's self-titled debut album and wouldn't let me listen to it. So I did what every younger sibling did in that situation: I stole it from her room while she was out with her friends. I took it to my room and carefully placed it in my boom box, then put in a blank tape and made a copy.

And so, a fan was born. At the time, it was more rebellion that true fandom, because I had already decided that I was going to like the music. I had, after all, been forbidden from listening to it, so I knew it had to be the best music ever.

But as time went on, and my musical palette developed, a number of tapes and CDs were never touched again. In fact, a lot of them were thrown out or hidden from sight as I told friends, "No way, dude. I never listened to Good Charlotte. That's my sister's album. Slayer rules, am I right?"

Eve 6's albums, however, aged gracefully. The music as a whole continued to hold a special place in my heart and, as I got older, I began appreciating (and understanding) the lyrics more and more.

Last week, I had a chance to speak with Jon Siebels, the band's original guitarist, who rejoined Eve 6 around the beginning of 2011. After a seven-year hiatus, he is thrilled to be back on tour with his '90s-era pop-rock pals.

"It feels really good to be back out and headlining shows in front of our people," Siebels says. "The feel of the band, the chemistry...It was sort of like riding a bike, because it feels like it always felt."

The last time Siebels remembers performing in Houston with Eve 6 was at the Engine Room in 2003 or 2004. Despite Houston's often overzealous fans, Siebels has fond memories.

"Texas in general has always been a good place for us," he says. "It's a little hot, but other than that I like it."

Eve 6 headlines Scout Bar Wednesday night, promoting their new album, Speak in Code, but Siebels says that even fans who haven't yet listened to it will be sure to enjoy the performance.

"It's a pretty even mix of everything," he says of Wednesday's set list. "We have four albums now, so we have a lot to choose from. And we're all music fans ourselves, and when you're a fan of a band, there's music that you've loved for years, and you want to hear that stuff. So we really try to just play the songs that people want to hear and have a good time with it."

Siebels says he was worried that, since there's been such a long buildup, the new album might disappoint Eve 6's fans So far, the band has been pleased with the reception to Speak in Code.

"The fans have been so patient," he says. "But now that it's been out a couple of weeks, we've already got fans showing up and singing along to every song.

"I think our fans are really happy with it, and that's where it starts for us," he adds. "We hope to make some new fans, but really it's our core fan base that we really did this for."

In the first track off Speak in Code, "Curtain," vocalist Max Collins says goodbye to a brother and, interestingly, rock and roll as a whole. Since Collins usually writes from a first-person perspective and has never been averse to sharing details about his personal life, I thought the song might have been written when Eve 6 first disbanded. But the song's chorus isn't about Collins at all.

"That song was actually a verse and a chorus from two separate songs, but the original idea for that song was that he was writing from the perspective of Liam Noel Gallagher from Oasis," Siebels says. "The initial inspiration of the song was writing from one brother to the other, and I think, as we melded it with another song and it started to take shape, it took on more of a personal meaning as well.

"It was interesting, because [Collins] usually writes from more from his own perspective, but we're all big Oasis fans and there was a lot of news about them when we were working on stuff, and I think he got inspired by that."

Eve 6 first separated in 2004 after poor sales of the band's third album, It's All in Your Head. Perhaps fans weren't ready for a more serious version of the same band whose heartfelt radio hit about a one-night stand flooded airwaves in 2001? Siebels had a different explanation.

"It didn't do as well commercially, but a lot of the fans were really into it," he says. "The music business was changing a lot, and our label had merged with another label, so suddenly our whole dream-team of people were all gone.

"So I think part of it had to do with the push," Siebels continues. "I don't think it had quite the muscle behind it that the first two records did from the label. But the cool thing though is that, because of the Internet, those songs can still live on and there's still room for people to discover it now."

And fans, both old and new, can rest easy about Eve 6's immediate future.

"We haven't started working on another album yet, but we're definitely going to be working on another one," Siebels says. "We're trying to look at this as Eve 6 2.0. It's not just a 'throw one album out and see what happens' kind of thing; it's definitely the second phase, the second era of the band.

"We're definitely in for a couple more records and tours and all that good stuff," he adds.

With Greek Fire, Fall From Grace and Lost Element, 9 p.m. Wednesday at Scout Bar, 18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Clear Lake.

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